The desire of al-Qaeda to hit the US with a major terrorist attack has been well-known since 9/11. Documents and computer data captured in the mission that killed Osama bin Laden confirmed that the terrorist network wanted to follow up the devastating 9/11 attacks with another spectacular terrorist plot, and that the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks would provide a public-relations coup for the radical Islamists if they could succeed. According to a Homeland Security report, AQ has been attempting to infiltrate public utility systems to deliver a blow to American infrastructure — and ABC News reports that they may already have people in place to do so:
Sabotage by an insider at a major utility facility, including a chemical or oil refinery, could provide al Qaeda with its best opportunity for the kind of massive Sept. 11 anniversary attack Osama bin Laden was planning, according to U.S. officials.
A new intelligence report from the Department of Homeland Security issued Tuesday, titled Insider Threat to Utilities, warns “violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions,” and that “outsiders have attempted to solicit utility-sector employees” for damaging physical and cyber attacks.
“Based on the reliable reporting of previous incidents, we have high confidence in our judgment that insiders and their actions pose a significant threat to the infrastructure and information systems of U.S. facilities,” the bulletin reads in part. “Past events and reporting also provide high confidence in our judgment that insider information on sites, infrastructure, networks, and personnel is valuable to our adversaries and may increase the impact of any attack on the utilities infrastructure.”
The Boss Emeritus also recalls the case of Sharif Mobley, which ABC references in this report, but also notes that the US didn’t learn much from it:
Last March, I noted the South Jersey Jihadist and al Qaeda-linked radical Sharif Mobley — who held positions at several nuclear power plants in Salem County, NJ.
I’ve also noted the open-borders idiocy at many of these facilities — see my post from six years ago — that allows countless illegal aliens to penetrate security. A similar story out of Arizona just last week underscored the continued laxity[.]
This story involved a nuclear power plant in Maricopa County, where an illegal immigrant who had already been deported once before was given access to the facility:
Alvares was deported in 2000, but paid a human smuggler for re-entry into the U.S., Arpaio says. And last month, Mesa Police cited Alvares for driving on a suspended license.
According to MCSO, Alvares tried to gain access to the nuclear power plant on Monday but was denied because his Mexican driver’s license was expired.
He tried again on Tuesday, this time as a passenger in a contractor’s vehice. He presented an Arizona identification card and was allowed in.
When plant security examined his identification card some time later, they thought it might be fraudulent and called the Sherif’s Office.
That’s not exactly a confidence builder in light of ABC’s story. We need to start taking security at public utilities a lot more seriously than this indicates. For that matter, we need to take security on our borders — both of them — a lot more seriously.